The role of embeddedness in the evolution of business networks

Halinen Aino, Jan-Åke Törnroos

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    218 Citations (Scopus)


    This article deals with the concept of embeddedness and its role in understanding the evolution of business networks. Networks are viewed as structures of inter-firm relationships that emerge and evolve through continuous interactive processes. Embeddedness refers to companies' relations with, and dependence on, various types of network. Six types of embeddedness are distinguished and the vertical and horizontal dimensions of the phenomenon are analysed. The concept of the actor's representational role is introduced to illustrate how embeddedness functions as a force for change in the evolution of networks. Cases from a variety of business contexts are used to describe the aspects of embeddedness, and their impact on the process of network evolution. In conclusion some implications for research and practice are presented. Keywords
    • Business networks;
    • embeddedness;
    • network evolution;
    • process research
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)187–205
    JournalScandinavian Journal of Management
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1988
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Embeddedness
    • Business networks
    • Theoretical perspectives
    • network evolution
    • Process research

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